Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Greek Weddings - the dancing!

So the next installment of our Greek wedding series as voted for on the last poll, continues with the dancing traditions! 

Dancing is a huge part of Greek celebrations (along with eating, of course) so it makes sense that there are a variety of dances and traditions that we have.

Let's start with the 'kalamatiano'. This is usually just for the ladies but a lot of the time the men like to muscle their way in too! 

It's generally danced in a circle with the bride at the centre, leading it with her 'koumera' (best woman) right next to her. Everyone holds hands and does a few little simple steps. Here's a little video to show you in more detail!

Then some music is played where everyone dances to; a bit of 'tsifteteli' belly dancing and hip wiggling, and then the men get a long section of their own where almost every man in the room does their solo bit of the 'zembekiko'. Like I mentioned before in this post, the men do their 'drunk' dance while everyone stands/kneels around them clapping and throwing money at them! All that money goes as a tip to the band, and people who pick money up off the floor to re-throw are considered STINGY!

Finally of course, the most famous dance of the Greek weddings (and probably what entices many a 'xeni' to want to bag a herself a Greek man haha) is the infamous MONEY DANCE!
This is where you give your gift to the bride and groom. Forget gravy boats and tea pots, Greeks give the stuff you really want to take home!

So it starts with the couple dancing with a handkerchief and then one by one people come up to pin money on them. It will always start with the parents who obviously put the most. They have pre-pinned reams of the biggest bill in their currency, and drape it over the bride and groom. Some even get really fancy and make them a money crown! 

Soon, every guest in the room will make their way up to pin their gift on the couple as well - usually all at once. Don't ask why they don't come up table by table in a nice strategic order... I think it's tradition for everyone to bundle and push their way through; Greeks like being pushy!

I hope that was insightful! Any questions or comments you have, leave them in the comments below! Opa!


  1. Greek weddings are well known world wide.
    It is really a great experience for someone to see a traditional Greek wedding!

    1. I agree, hopefully this gives those who haven't witnessed one yet a little taste of it! Thank you for your comment!

  2. Excuse me but that's not what Greek weddings look like! it just doesn't happen! Where was that wedding you are talking about?

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